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New Allied Arts director sees ‘awesome’ opportunity

Tim Ranson

Tim Ranson is the new executive director of the Fort Macleod Allied Arts Council.

Tim Ranson has a lifetime of experience working behind the scenes for organizations such as Alberta Ballet, Calgary Stampede, Lunchbox Theatre and the Calgary Winter Olympics.
Now as the new director of the Fort Macleod Allied Arts Council, Ranson is tasked with ensuring that organization remains in the spotlight in southern Alberta.
“I’m tremendously excited to have been afforded this opportunity to grow Allied Arts’ profile in the community and somehow contribute in a meaningful way to the area’s cultural landscape,” said Ranson, a Fort Macleod resident since 2008. “This can only happen if we are able to engage people and encourage them to explore and celebrate their own creativity and that of others.”
Ranson said he is privileged to be part of an organization such as Allied Arts, which has a long and proud history in Fort Macleod.
Ranson praised the work of former director Carmen Drapeau and the board for recent developments, including opening a studio and gallery on Main Street.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the programs they’ve offered have touched and enriched the lives of hundreds — young and old,” Ranson said. “This is no small feat, in a busy world that sometimes feels cluttered by smart phones, satellite television and the Internet.”
Ranson’s involvement in the arts began when he was a teenager. His father was on the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Grandstand Attractions Committee and soon put his son to work washing footlights.
Ranson continued to work at the Stampede through junior and senior high school and was still there when he was enrolled at the University of Calgary.
His career took a new direction when Ranson was offered a job in 1982 as stage and tour manager for Arete Physical Comedy Co.
“I was taking Canadian studies and I thought I would take a semester off and land in every province and territory and learn about the country. That was the plan but that contract just turned into another contract, which turned into another contract and I never went back.”
Ranson worked in a variety of jobs, including set, sound and lighting designer, production manager and head of department for Lunchbox Theatre, the XV Winter Olympics medal ceremonies in Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse Acting School, the Blythe Festival in Ontario, Alberta Ballet, Ballet British Columbia and the Calgary Stampede.
From 1995 to 2008 Ranson earned his living as a self-employed contractor in the film and television industry.
He was property master in the art department for TV movies such as Changing Climates, Changing Times, Touch the Top of the World, The Ron Clark Story, The Magic of Ordinary Days, Dawn Anna, Twelve Mile Road and Hollywood Wives: The New Generation.
Ransom had the same job for TV pilot episodes for Heartland and Jericho, the series Caitlin’s Way and a music video for the band Nickleback’s song Photograph.
Ranson also worked as consultant, prop builder and buyer in the art department on productions such as Dream Keeper, Defining Edward, The Sheldon Kennedy Story, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, North Of 60, Viper, In Cold Blood and Lonesome Dove.
“I loved it,” Ranson said. “The pace, just walking into a place and bringing 150 strangers together and telling stories. I really enjoyed it.”
In 2008 Ranson decided to take his life in a new direction. He moved to Okotoks and then to Fort Macleod, seeking a quality lifestyle in a small town.
Ranson wanted to be close to Waterton Lakes, where his family has a place. He also desired to live near a university and a hospital.
“I looked at Cardston, I looked at Pincher (Creek), I looked at the Fort (Macleod). What sealed it for me was the Empress Theatre was here, South Country Fair was here, the museum . . . that was sort of why I ended up here. The potential of the police college was intriguing.”
Ranson took 1 1/2 years off work before taking a part-time position at Alberta Hardware. He has high praise for Joyce, Julie and “the gang” at that business, and praised their community involvement.
The posting for a new executive director for Allied Arts caught Ranson’s attention.
“There’s a wealth of artistic talent in this neck of the woods that I want to see whether or not I can help support. I love what the arts have done for me in my life. I think they’re a crucial part of our lives.”
Ranson viewed the job as a chance to give back to the arts some of what he has received over his life.
“I’ve been very fortunate to do what I’ve been doing the last 30 years. I feel my life has been enriched by the arts.”
Ranson was also excited by the direction Allied Arts has taken by opening the studio and gallery on Main Street and offering programs for youth and adults.
Ranson has plans to grow Allied Arts by engaging some of the communities within the greater Fort Macleod community, including First Nations, Dutch, Asian, Hutterian Brethren and Filipino.
“I think we have an opportunity to celebrate each other.”
Ranson also plans to strengthen partnerships with groups such as the Empress Theatre, South Country Fair and local schools.
Ranson wants to make sure Allied Arts supports a variety of arts, including dance, music and the culinary arts.
He plans to spend most weekday mornings at the Fort Macleod Allied Arts Building, and urges people to drop by to say hello and share their ideas.
“I think there is an awesome opportunity to enhance the arts in this community.”

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Lillian & Roger Schreiner Says:

    Congratualtions Tim! What a great tribute – so pleased you are in an area
    that you enjoy so much. Keep up the good work and enthusiasm.

  2. Kelley Murphy Says:

    Congratulations Tim, I know you will do great things!

  3. Billy Props Says:

    Congrats Tim. I know you’ll do great things there.

  4. bruce Says:

    We’ll, I’m not a fan of the Calgary Stampede, REALLY NOT A FAN, but by the sounds of it, Tim will make a great addition to Fort Macleod. The whole SW of Alberta is such a beautiful area From Waterton, Hill Spring, Leth, Glenwood, Pincher – and all those communities big and small have such a rich Artistic DNA to them. Let’s hope Tim can get in touch not only the Fort Macleod art scene, but also the entire SW Region. Together we are better off! We are too small to divide and conquer.